FLYBE LAUNCHES UK’S FIRST REGIONAL AIR CONNECTIVITY FUND ROUTEFROM EXETER TO NORWICH
Leading regional airline launches new East Anglia service and new sun routes from Norwich
23th March 2016
Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, has today (24th March 2016) celebrated the inaugural flight between Exeter and Norwich that will operate six times a week. It is the first to launch under the UK Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund. With a flight time of just over an hour, it saves between three and four hours on the equivalent journey made by road or rail. Seats are available for booking at www.flybe.com with introductory one way fares from £17.49 including taxes and charges,
The Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund was launched last year as a way of encouraging new routes to and from UK regional airports and improving connectivity for business and leisure travellers.
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “It is fantastic to see Flybe launch this new direct air service between Exeter and Norwich, offering significant journey time savings for passengers. Our smaller airports are vital engines for local economies, connecting the UK and opening up opportunities. That is why the Government is backing new regional air routes to drive investment and boost growth across the country.”
Amy Valcik, Flybe’s Chief Marketing Officer adds: "Flybe delivers unrivalled regional connectivity between the UK regions and we recognise that time is precious for our customers. So we are thrilled that, as a result of our new relationship with the Rigby Group, we have been able to greatly improve the travel options between Exeter and Norwich, by offering ‘the fastest way from A to Flybe’. We look forward to welcoming all our new passengers on board.”
Today also marks the return of scheduled sunshine flights from Norwich Airport for the first time in almost a decade and just in time for the Easter holidays,* with new year-round Flybe flights to Alicante, Malaga, Palma and Faro with one of Flybe’s E195 118-seater jet aircrafts. This has been made possible as a result of the innovative new partnership between Flybe and Regional & City Airports (RCA) that owns Norwich Airport.
Andrew Bell, Chief Operating Officer for RCA, the airport management division of Rigby Group PLC, said: “Regional airports perform a critical role connecting the people and businesses of the UK and we are delighted that the first UK route under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund is linking two of RCA’s airports. Our growing partnership with Flybe is further cemented by our securing and expanding sunshine flights and demonstrates our commitment to keeping our regions connected.”**
This week will also see the resumption of Exeter’s scheduled sunshine services to the Spanish resorts of Alicante, Malaga and Palma, and Faro in Portugal, with year round flights operated by a Flybe E195 jet aircraft.
Issued by the Flybe press office:
T: 0845 675 0681
E: [email protected]
*Matt Roach, Managing Director at Exeter Airport: “This is a UK first for Exeter Airport and further evidence of our growing route network. Travelling to Norwich by train or car can take around five hours so we expect this new service to be popular with business and leisure passengers. Norwich Airport is just two and half miles from the city of Norwich and the gateway to the coastline and countryside of Norfolk.”
**Richard Pace, General Manager at Norwich Airport: “This is a great day for Norwich Airport with the start of our scheduled sunshine flights to Spain for the first time in nine years, and a new daily service to Exeter in Devon, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK and gateway to the South West.”
Notes to Editors:
Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 216 routes serving 10 countries from 75 departure points, 37 UK/38 European airports* (all routes on sale Mar ’16 – Oct ‘16); operates more UK domestic flights than any other airline (UK CAA Feb ’15 – Jan‘16); one of only two UK-based carriers in top 20 global airlines punctuality league table by OAG (Jan ’16) and named top UK airline for punctuality in report issued by UK consumer watchdog Which? (Dec 2014); named ‘Best Short-Haul Airline’ at the 2016 Business Travel Awards (Jan ‘16); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Exeter, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports (UK CAA Jan ’16); operates fleet of 75 aircraft – 52 Bombardier Q400, 9 Embraer 195, 11 E175 & 3 ATR 72s; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM, Finnair, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific and Emirates; has three franchise partners, Loganair, Stobart Air and Blue Islands making it only UK airline brand with 72% coverage of reporting airports (UK CAA Jan ’15); has own globally recognised Training Academy in Exeter with flight deck and cabin crew simulator facilities, 26 classrooms and 150-seat conference facility.
*Flown under the Flybe brand (30 routes/11 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair: and 3 routes and 3 airports exclusively operated by franchise partner, Stobart Air)